I attend St. Norbert College in De Pere Wisconsin. I went to Mass on campus for the first time this morning and I was horrified to discover that, firstly, there were no kneelers, however, I was okay with that because I just assumed that people kneel on the floor. That is certainly not the case. The people stand throughout the whole of the consecration. Now, I know that it would be drawing undue attention to myself if I were to kneel, but at the same time the GIRM says in paragraph 21 on posture: They (the people) should kneel at the consecration unless prevented by the lack of space, the number of people present, or some other good reason.
Well, I couldn’t take it and knelt down after communion to say prayers of thanksgiving, and there is certainly enough room, there are a lot of people, but it isn’t as though there is insufficient room for people to kneel, and I cannot see any other “good reason.” What should I do? Should I kneel anyway or since I am in ‘Rome’ should I “do as the Romans do?”
Welcome to the Sacrifice of the Mass on the campus of a Catholic college!
The chapel of my college had no kneelers, so I always sat near the back and had room to kneel. After a few weeks, some others joined me in kneeling.
I spoke to the priests about it and got the ‘some other good reason’ argument, specifically, that the chapel didn’t have any kneelers! I decided that such circularity was not worth attempting to penetrate. My letters to the bishop and the provincial went unanswered.
In a permanent chapel on a Catholic campus, I can see no good reason for not having kneelers available. Some Protestant churches I have visited have cushions available near the door for Communion. Bring your own or get the college to order some.
Show the priest who said Mass and the Campus minister the GIRM and ask why do you not follow the rules? Has the Bishop issued something to his faithful about how and when the GIRM is to be implimented in the diocese? Take that also.
If this really bothers you, please do continue to kneel, if there is room and you cannot find another Mass.
If you do approach the Priest, try to make it more of an inquiry. Just ask why no one kneels. The “good reason” stipulation is usually left up to the celebrant, so you really don’t have much to say, if he chooses to have people stand.
Try not to let this bother you or distract you from the Mass. Many people have difficulty kneeling on the floor for a long period of time, so it is for a unity of posture that they use a standing posture. Would there be enough room to have kneelers for all the chairs? Perhaps they are anticipating (or hoping for) so many attendees that there will not be enough room.
It may be fruitless, but I will ask the pastor of the college what his take on it is because in talking with him, he would seem to be a very orthodox priest. I agree that there is no reason why a chapel shouldn’t have kneelers, especially on a college campus, where the money is usually flowing. Perhaps I shall also draft a letter to the Bishop of Green Bay…I don’t suppose anyone knows anything about him?
I wrote my response at the same time as searching, so now I will respond to those.
The Church is set up in a sort of choir fashion with one half facing the other half because the norbertines use the Chuch to chant the office, and there isn’t room for a seperate choir stall area. I found that I couldn’t not kneel to say prayers after communion, so I did it anyway, and there was plenty of room, especially for young students…I could see older people be exempt. There isn’t really any room to expand, but the Church is very full with people, some people even have to stand out in the narthax. I can’t decided whether or not it is a good thing since they don’t kneel during communion, and inclusive language seems to be the norm. When the priest was reading the Gospel of this last Sunday, at the very end it said “…and then he will repay all according to his conduct” and the priest didn’t bat an eye and change it to their conduct. Which, is gramatically (two m’s…I don’t know) incorrect, it would be be his or her conduct for a singular reference. Aside from that, when the time comes for “may the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands…etc” You guessed it! We have, for the raise and glory of God’s name…and for the good of all God’s Church.
There is going to have to be some major work done here…but any other advice on contending with liturgicall sick parish…I would greatly appreciate.
Oh, and now, just Catholic masses and prayer services.
I’m not sure I understand the part about “drawing undue attention”? I have been in situations where I’ve knelt while others remained standing – It didn’t seem to bother them, and I try not to let the behavior of others bother me.
I don’t think there is any reason to involve the good and holy Bishop Zubik at this time. :twocents:
Just remember to pick your battles–(sad as this sounds, it is usually the case) The decision has already been made. As was discussed in other threads, the Bishop has much latitude, especially on posture, and often approves the judgements of the pastors as to “other good reasons”.
This is not a major abuse, if indeed it is any. There are priorities here. ON the one hand unified posture, (which is expressly mentioned in the GIRM), and a posture, which is usually under the authority of the Bishop. If there is no objection to kneeling, and this is what you have determined is the major priority, then kneel.
Only you can decide if you think Jesus is more pleased with kneeling or a unified position.
Consider this though- kneeling when there are no kneelers (as well as refusing to hold hands during the Our Father) can make you come across like you think you’re better than everyone else for doing so (which is the sin of pride if you do feel that way, and can shun people even if it isn’t intentional).
You say the Norbertines use the church. Is the priest Norbertine? Maybe this is the practice of that particular community. I don’t think standing the whole time is a bad thing at all. It is just as respectful as kneeling in my opinion.
Unfortunately some people think that certain postures on the outside reflect more reverence on the inside. Both kneeling and standing in prayer show reverence—Certainly following the instructions of your Pastor cannot be a bad thing.
If kneeling is not the custom of the community, and you feel strongly about kneeling, why not spend some time before or after Mass, or offer up the sacrifice of standing?
Exactly… I was posting that at the same time you were…
Ya know, great minds…
I have to say, and this comes from my being a Byzantine Catholic were we do not kneel and standing is the norm, I see nothing wrong with standing, especially here in America where we stand as a sign of respect.
Inculturation, how long does it take for that to occur? Kneeling was something done before the royalty in the West. In America we separated ourselves from the idea of royalty.
In the East one stood before royalty, that is why there is no kneeling in the Byzantine rite traditionally. We have picked up some as a latinization but we are slowly removing that.
Oh,no! Can’t have intra-Catholic triumphalism! Not when we have spent a good 40 years in the wilderness doing our best to get rid of such an attitude! And just when we have accomplished so much! The results have been so thoroughly positive, no? :rolleyes:
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